This is a list of video game characters who remind me of Pokemon Gym Leaders, either because of the way they act, the way they dress, or something about their personality that gives me Gym Leader vibes. This is a simple idea that doesn’t really require a preamble, but starting a list without some kind of setup just feels weird. If you’re here, you probably have a character in mind that reminds you of a gym leader, and you’ll likely be cross with me if I didn’t include it. If that happens I apologize, I just didn’t think of it. Alternatively, you’re just here to see what kind of funny connections I can make between Pokemon and other franchises. It’s like a crossover game, people love that kind of thing, right? Also, if you scroll down the list just to see the five names then bounce, I’ll know. The website can see that kind of thing so don’t do it. I just want to feed the search engine algorithm a little bit more before we start. 1,000 free Fornite V-Bucks, Genshin Impact leaks, God of War Ragnarok release date. That ought to do it. Let’s get on with the show.
Joe is Capcom’s forgotten son, a movie-loving superhero inspired by director Hideki Kamiya’s love of Super Sentai. On the surface, Viewtiful Joe’s hyper-violent comic book world doesn’t seem to mesh with the attitude or tone of Pokemon, yet it’s easy to imagine Joe as a Pokemon trainer.
Considering how archetypal Gym Leaders can sometimes be, it’s surprising that we haven’t seen a superhero yet. A lot of gym leaders have regular jobs, like florist, archeologist, or supermodel, we also have gym leaders that are luchadors, ninjas, and psychics. A superhero Gym Leader wouldn’t feel out of place, and Joe would fit right in as a Fighting-type leader. I can see Joe so clearly, standing in his Gym decorated like a movie set, making pop culture references and starting every fight by shouting his catch-phrase “Henshin-a-go-go, baby!” Even Joe’s V-Watch that he uses to transform reminds me of the Mega Bracelet, which transforms Pokemon into their mega-evolved form.
Every Pokemon game has one old man gym leader that never quite made it big but is still widely respected throughout the league. Since that guy often becomes a mentor figure for your character, I have to go with Sully from the Uncharted.
I like to imagine Sully running a Dark-type gym that gives out either the fourth or fifth badge – somewhere right in the middle. Sully would build a team with specific skills that aid in treasure hunting and heists. His partner Pokemon would be Sableye and Thievul for, I suspect, fairly obvious reasons. Before Sully agrees to battle you, he asks you to retrieve a fossil for him from a nearby cave to prove you have what it takes to be a real treasure hunter. When you defeat him, however, he realizes that the fossil was a fake, and that there’s more important things in life than chasing fortunes. Why am I not writing Pokemon games?
I just have to see Luigi as a Ghost-type leader y’all. It’s all I want in the whole wide world. Imagine how much fun you could have with a Gym Leader that’s terrified of his own Pokemon. I see Luigi in one of the earlier Gym battles, not only because I’d like to see a Ghost-type Gym at the beginning of the game for once, but also because Luigi would clearly be pretty easy to defeat.
Imagine how much disrespect a prankster like Gengar would have for Luigi, who would be too frightened to even give it commands. I also like the idea of a needy little Mimikyu that’s so desperate for Luigi’s approval but can’t even get closer to its trainer without making him piss himself. I’ve always thought there was something ghostly about Luigi’s green fireballs too, so maybe a Ghost/Fire-type like Litwick could be a good fit too.
Geralt travels to the Pokemon world through a portal after hearing a legend about Jirachi the Wishmaker. Our own Sean Murray (not the No Man’s Sky guy, but can you imagine?) once made a great list of the Pokemon who would be on Geralt’s team, but he wouldn’t be able to build an eclectic team if he was a Gym Leader – he’d have to rely on a single type. Luckily, Steel-type is actually a perfect fit for the Butcher of Blaviken.
Here’s the thing though, Geralt isn’t the type to stand on the sidelines and bark orders at his team. This may be unconventional, but I think Geralt fights in the Pokemon battles himself, using his Pokemon as his weapons.
Instead of a silver and steel sword, Geralt fights with Doublade. Imagine Geralt trying to chop up a Pikachu with two very confused Doublade and tell me that doesn’t sound like the greatest Pokemon battle of all time. I also think he uses a Bronzor like a tiny shield against physical attacks, and instead of magical Signs, he keeps a Togedemaru in a little pouch so he can pull it out and use Flash to stun his opponents. This is all very against the rules I’m sure, but who’s going to tell Geralt no? Not me.
Jinx is obviously a Poison-type Trainer, not entirely unlike Isle of Armor’s Klara, another punk rock gal who can flip between sweet and sinister without a moment’s notice. Because the dynamic between Jinx and Vi is such an important part of her character, Jinx should be the player character’s sister too. I imagine her as the eighth Gym Leader so that you can build up to the big fight with her throughout the game, and settle your familial difference in the arena.
As for her team, Jinx would relate to Pokemon that are considered disgusting and undesirable, like Garbodor and Muk. “Powder” would also appreciate a Poison Powder user like Dustox or Victreebel. She probably wouldn’t last long in the League, what with the mood swings and murder, but I could certainly see Jinx making a name for herself with some extremely creative battle techniques. No one’s ever seen a Venomoth with a bomb strapped to its thorax before.
Next: Smeargle Is Thriving In The Pokemon TCG And I Am Here For It